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Special Exhibitions Ancient Indian Treasures Exhibition
Special Exhibitions
Permanent Exhibition
 
Editor Sicy        Updated:2007-02-07      Text:Large /  Medium  /  Small  
  
  
Ancient Indian treasures exhibition will be showin   the east exhibition hall of Henan Museum fromMar.10, 2007---- May.10, 2007
  
India is one of the oldest civilized countries in the world.The sculptural art has been a more resplendent pearl among all theIndian treasures with very distinct ethical features and strongartistic appeal. The most notable characteristic of Indiansculptural art is its close link with religion.
  
Friendly  exchanges between the two countries havebeen going on for  more than 2000 years. The various andstable communications between the two countries in the field ofreligion, art, science and technology and medicine have beencountless in history.
  
In order to continue with a new page of the friendship, bothsides declared the year 2006 as “the Year of China-IndiaFriendship”. This exhibition is one of the cultural activities ofthis year.
  
  
The Flourishing of BuddhistSculptures
  
- Sculptures from  the 3rd century B.C.to the 3rd century A.D.
The Buddhist arts in India started from the period of KingAshoka (273 - 232 B.C.) of the Maurya.   The most famousreplica of the Lion of Sarnath was chosen to be the national emblemof The Republic of India.
  
The sculpting of Buddha started from the Kushana Dynasty (c.78 - 241 A.D.). Since about the 2nd  century B.C.,sculptures with the themes of Buddha’s life and story began toappear on the early Buddhist buildings. Before this, spirits likeYaksha and Yakshi in the original belief had appeared in thesculptural works. With the rising of the Buddhist arts, they, aslaw-protecting gods, became a frequent theme in Buddhistsculptures.
  
Artistic genres of Gandhara, Mathura and Amaravati existed inthe Indian Continent from the 1st century to the 3rd century.Sculptures from areas like Amaravati, Nagarjunakonda werecharacterized distinctly by the slender body and graceful andsupple postures of the images. The Buddhist image from AmaravatiAdopted the smooth line of intaglio and showed the image in animplicit way. There was orderly short spiral curly hair on theBuddha’s head.
  

  

Gupta Art
- Sculptures from  the 4th century tothe 7th century A.D.
The Gupta Dynasty (320-550 A.D.) was the peak period of theBuddhist sculptural arts. The Buddha’s eyes were half-closed withelegant and sedate posture. The curves were soft and smooth witheven and accurate proportions, thus displayed a bearing that waspure, refined and unstained. Buddhist statues of Gupta period allhad clothes that were as thin as a cicada’s wings. The clothesclung to the body tightly to display the figure in a full way as ifit was just brought out from water.
  
During the period of Gupta, the ancient Brahmanism developedinto Buddhism and became prosperous. Driven by the Buddhist art,the Hindu sculptural art began to flourish. Due to thecharacteristics of the religious doctrines, the images of the Hindusculptures tended to be more complicated than those of Buddhismwith lively motions and vividness. Thus, the style of the Indiansculptural art had changed historically.
  
  
The Last Page of Buddhist Sculptures
- Sculptures after the 8th century A.D.
Buddhism began to decline during the period of Gupta after the8th century. The Pala Dynasty(c.750-1150 A.D.) which governed eastIndia believed in Buddhism during its ruling. Owing to theMissionization of Islam around 1200 Buddhism nearly vanished inIndia.
  
The sculptures of the Pala-Sena period(c.750 - 1206 A.D.) gotassimilated with Hinduism and became more and more focused on theformal beauty. The portrait of the body and expression got simpler.Complex decorations such as gorgeous crown, chaplet and jade-likestone became most eye-catching. At this time, the vajrayana,developed from the Buddhism, was also influenced by the Hinduism,thus various mysterious images were produced with either more thanone head, and many arms or with people and animals combined.Buddhist sculptures of east India cast deep influence towards theBuddhist arts of Nepal and Tibet in China.
  

  

The Flourishing of Hindu Sculptures
   - Hinduism and Jainismrelated sculptures after the 8th century  A.D.
After the 7th and the 8th centuries A.D., the Hindu art becamethe mainstream of Indian fine arts. The sculptural style hencebegan a new period which looked after formal beauty.
  
The Hinduism advocated universal life. It illustrated itsdoctrines through artistic forms like buildings and sculptures.Their statues of Buddha were weird and with strong symbolicmeaning. Their exciting and exaggerated postures and overelaborateddecorations were fully imaginative.
  
The bronze sculptures of south India were very famous, and“Dancer Shiva” was the one that had been mostly represented. Itspassionate actions and the ring with its flickering flame were verystrong visually. It was praised by the famous French sculptorRodin.
  
Jainism was a very ancient religion and its creator Mahaviralived in the same period with the Buddha. The sculptural history ofJainism can be traced back to the Mauryan Dynasty in the 3 rdcentury B.C. and later it had been influencing each other with theart of Buddhism and Hinduism. The sculptures of Jainism were theimage of its founder.
  
  
Epilogue
Various well-known museums in India provide valuable exhibitsand related research findings,. We thereby like to extend our greatthanks to the Indian friends who have been so warmhearted inpreparing for this exhibition as well as the friends who have beenattentive and kind in helping with the exhibition.
  
Indian museums that provide exhibits are: ArchaeologicalMuseum, Amaravati Archaeological Museum, Bodhgaya, ArchaeologicalMuseum, Nagarjunakonda, Archaeological Museum, Nalanda,Archaeological Museum, Ratnagiri, Archaeological Museum, Sanchi,Archaeological Museum, Sarnath, Archaeological Museum, Udayagiri,Central Antiquity Collection, New Delhi, Archaeological Museum,Khajuraho, Archaeological Site, Deogarh, Archaeological Site,Nachana, National Museum, New Delhi.